Home > Bracketology, Current Updates, Team News > Bracket Bits: Five takeaways from the Round of 64

Bracket Bits: Five takeaways from the Round of 64

Dave2015The first two days of this year’s NCAA tournament are behind us.  And while we didn’t have an incredible buzzer-beater, we still had plenty of drama.  Here are five quick takeaways from Thursday and Friday …

High seeds advanced … Other than No. 13 seed UC-Irvine’s upset of Kansas State (which really wasn’t that big of an upset), the top of the bracket remains chalky.  Duke, Virginia, North Carolina, and Gonzaga all moved on with relative ease, even though their opening halves created a little angst in Durham, Chapel Hill, and Charlottesville.   In all, every No. 2 and No. 3 seed also reached the Round of 32.

12-5 Upsets returned … A year removed from stability in the traditionally unpredictable 12-5 matchups, No. 12 seed Liberty ousted No. 5 seed Mississippi State and No. 12 seed Oregon dumped No. 5 seed Wisconsin.  Neither the Bulldogs nor the Badgers were playing their best basketball in March, so it’s not overly surprising.   And with UC-Irvine taking down Kansas State, Oregon will be favored to reach the Sweet 16.

Murray State is more than Ja Morant … If you followed Murray State this season, Ja Morant’s opening-round performance against Marquette didn’t surprise you.  What may have surprised you is the depth of basketball talent on the Racers’ roster.  Murray isn’t a one-man show, and Florida State had better bring its “A” game to Hartford on Saturday.  If the Racers’ complimentary pieces are making shots, Murray is a tough out.

Trifecta’s triumph … For mid-major teams,  it’s all about spacing and the shooting the trifecta.  Against Seton Hall, Wofford made 13 treys (13-28).  Elsewhere, Murray State made 50 percent its threes (9 of 18) against Marquette, and Liberty knocked down 12 long-range bombs (12-25) against Mississippi  State.  Florida State, Kentucky, and Virginia Tech should read those box scores carefully.

Big Ten left its mark … Through two days, Big Ten teams are a 7-1 in the NCAA tournament.  Wisconsin is the only one missing from the Round of 32.  While the top of the ACC (Duke, Virginia, North Carolina) garnered much of the nation’s attention – and rightfully so – the B1G proved that it was likely the deepest conference in the country.  And without a quirky second-round matchup between Michigan State and Minnesota (which was within the rules, but questionable by the Committee), the conference had a chance to send all seven teams to the Sweet 16.

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